This post is dedicated to my sister and her beloved German Shepherd, Pia, who went across the rainbow bridge on April 30th. Tears well up in my eyes even as I write because I know how much this dog was cherished and how much of my sister's heart poured into this dog's life, especially the past 5 years. Pia (a.k.a. Boogie) was the sweetest German Shepherd I have ever known, always happy to have people around and up for any adventure she could go on with her family. She picked my sister out at 11 weeks old and they were together up until her last day. She was 14 years old. Pia was a beautiful dog in the ring and she had just started her Shuetzen training when they found out she had cancer. My sister was devestated, but she persevered and was able to get Pia the best treatment she could even though it may have only meant a few more months with her.
If there was anyone who could understand how much a dog fills your life full of joy and companionship it would be my sister because she had the same devotion to Pia that I have about my crew. At the age of nine Pia developed lymphoma and triumphed through radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery to live, amazingly enough, another five years. I credit her recovery to my sister's incredible care. I can't even begin to explain the depth of love that my family felt for this dog, and the amount of devotion my sister gave to Pia. It was as much as you would give to any child, for really they are like our children and for anyone to say differently we all take offense. All of our dogs have a personality that makes them so unique and we get to know them even better than our spouses I think (no offense) because when you look into their eyes you quickly see into their hearts and souls. If they are happy then you are happy, if they ache, then you ache along with them. They are a reflection of ourselves. They are a reflection of the person you are inside.
I wish I had more pictures of Pia but I know that asking for them right now is too painful and I know that it will be for a very long time. It's devastating to lose your partner and your companion and I truly feel for what my sister and her husband have been going through the past few weeks. It's coming home to an empty house, an empty dog bed, seeing her food bowl half full. It's waves of relief and sadness all at the same time....regret and doubt coming up at regular intervals. But just know that she had an amazing and wonderful life and couldn't have been loved more by anyone else. She truly was a reflection of you. I am so sorry and I will miss her too.